It’s a common occurrence to be unhappy with an outfit. When it comes to that special look, real-sized women have a difficult time not being happy with that final look. Maybe they want a better fit, shorter length, or a different color; but it’s hard when stores online and offline have limited variety for their consumers. In 2011, Harvard graduate Aubrie Pagano was looking for a dress to wear to her boyfriend’s family wedding. For her, nothing was the perfect fit or style. Due to her frustration with discovering the “right dress,” Pagano decided to design and make her own dress for the wedding, which took her about a month to do. She stated, “I convinced myself that I was not the only woman who wishes she had more control over her garments. So I set out to create clothing with personality for all women.”
Founded in Boston, Bow & Drape was developed by Pagano to resolve the problem of never having the perfect dress. The company gives women of all sizes the option to create their own dress online and in return be designed and sent to the customer. The site offers women an At Home Fit & Fabric Test that helps women reassure they’re choices for their garment including color, fit, style, and size. The site itself offers 22 patterns, 5 colors, 3 different fabrics, and 5 different trims, giving the customers over 3,000 different options for the perfect dress.
Pagano began learning about fashion after graduating Harvard to pay off her student debt. With a background in business and finance, she realized the intertwined relationship between consumers and designers and that in order to produce successful designs, customers need to have options to choose from. Bow & Drape’s head designer is Sarah Parrot, a strong believer of classic fashion, finishes, lines, and fit. Parrot’s pieces have been spotted on E! and sold by H&M. She was also a competitor on NBC’s hit show, Fashion Star.
Bow & Drape sticks out with five key components to stand out from the rest. First is the technology that shows the consumer realistic garments. When customers are designing online, they can view the images in real-life aspects. The designs are shown with videos and photos to show what they will receive in the mail. To ensure the right fit, the startup offers a fit test and an at-home Fit Kit that is given free of charge for women to try on samples in three different sizes before they order their dresses. Once ordered, the pieces are manufactured in the Unites States in two weeks and are sold at a competitive price point starting under $200. What makes the startup standout the most is their early entrance to the market, there are similar companies that utilize men’s apparel, but there are few players yet who have attacked the women’s apparel sector.
Being founded only in 2011, the company has room to grow but is transforming the industry to allow women to create a personal piece that ensures quality. The future of fashion as explained by the startup is “individuality,” and the company has entered into the market opening up eyes to consumers to create one-of-a-kind pieces. The pieces are classic, and allow women to create a unique piece that will last for a while.
Bow & Drape was named one of Teen Vogue’s “10 Fashion Start Ups That will Change the Way You Shop.”
by Samara Freschman